Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1999


The purpose of the study was to forecast characteristics of valuable workers within Middle Eastern Tennessee for the year 2015. The following areas were studied as they related to the forecast: (1) the projected employment skill demands of business and industry; (2) the initiatives required and proposed by business and industry to meet their respective employment demands; and (3) the external support by education required for industry and business to meet their employment needs. The Delphi panel was composed of 22 business and industry leaders who were nominated by the county executive of the ten counties of the study, officials at Walters State Community College, and members of the Regional Private Industry Council. The major areas of industry, manufacturing, and health care were represented. In the first round of the study, panelists responded to a questionnaire consisting of 17 open-ended questions that related to the characteristics they perceive as needed by valuable workers for the year 2015. The narrative responses in round one revealed emerging consensus, which was narrowed by the second round iteration. In the second round of the Delphi, panelists responded to 55 items, each measured on a Likert scale and rank ordered the most critical characteristics or initiatives in each category. The results indicate a clear need for workers who possess a strong work ethic, an ability to adapt to the changing workplace, and the willingness and ability to learn, as opposed to purely technical expertise. The findings of the study suggest implications for better articulation between public school curricula and industrial needs.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted